Yesterday, as I drove home from Conduit 25 I finished the audiobook of Peggy Eddleman's Sky Jumpers. I've been wanting to read this book every since I first saw the cover. I mean, isn't that a kick-butt cover?
I met Peggy last year at one of the Salt Lake Comic Cons. I think it was the first FanX in April, 2014. Our table of mostly self-published books was close to where several authors were signing their Big Publishing House-published books and when things slowed down, I found myself talking to a lot of the authors. I loved this cover and when Peggy told me about her series, I found the concept intriguing.
Turns out, she was completely correct! Sky Jumpers is set in a smartly crafted dystopian world of America after World War III. Without technology communities are separated from each other and must survive using the talents and abilities of the inhabitants. And because human nature hasn't changed, towns must protect themselves from roving bandits. Sky Jumpers tells the story of four children on a quest to save their loved ones and everyone in the town. They must outsmart the evil men, survive the winter trek and overcome the Bomb's Breath, a band of toxic air left over from the war.
The story's main protagonist is twelve-year old Hope. She is courageous without being cocky. I think her age has a lot to do with it. The girl questions her abilities, but when everything's on the line, she comes through. The story reminded me of similar storylines found in The Hunger Games and Divergent, except it was geared more toward a reader the same age as Hope. There's tension to be sure, but I think a younger reader can handle this dystopian story better than say, throwing a twelve-year old into The Hunger Games.
At the last FanX in January I was fortunate enough to moderate a panel with several talented middle-grade and young adult writers. Peggy was a fellow panelist and when you read her book, you'll understand why. She writes a great middle-grade thriller. I'm glad I decided last year to ask her what her book was all about.
* Photo used without permission from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/16718344-sky-jumpers